Van Basten names preliminary squad for Euro 2008
Coach Marco van Basten selects 30 players into a no-surprise provisional Dutch squad for Euro 2008.
7 May 2008
AMSTERDAM - Marco van Basten named Real Madrid forwards Ruud van Nistelrooy and Arjen Robben in a 30-man preliminary Netherlands squad for the European Championship.
Van Nistelrooy underwent surgery on his right ankle in March and only returned to full training late in April. Robben, who has suffered a string of injuries this season, scored as Madrid beat Osasuna 2-1 on Sunday to clinch the Spanish league title.
Joining Van Nistelrooy and Robben in Tuesday's squad were Liverpool pair Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel.
Van Basten will cut the squad to 26 players on 16 May. The final 20-player squad has to be announced by 28 May.
The Netherlands, whose only major title came at the European Championship in 1988, is in what is widely regarded as the toughest group at the 7-29 June Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland. Group C also includes world champion Italy, France and Romania.
Captain and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar will join the squad late in its preparations as Manchester United plays in the Champions League final against Chelsea in Moscow on 21 May.
Goalkeepers: Sander Boschker (FC Twente), Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United), Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Henk Timmer (Feyenoord).
Defenders: Wilfred Bouma (Aston Villa), Tim de Cler (Feyenoord), Urby Emanuelson (Ajax), John Heitinga (Ajax), Kew Jaliens (AZ Alkmaar), Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg), Mario Melchiot (Wigan Athletic), Andre Ooijer (Blackburn Rovers).
Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay (PSV Eindhoven), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), Orlando Engelaar (FC Twente), Nigel de Jong (Hamburg), Denny Landzaat (Feyenoord), Hedwiges Maduro (Valencia), Clarence Seedorf (AC Milan), Wesley Sneijder (Real Madrid), Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburg), Demy de Zeeuw (AZ Alkmaar).
Forwards: Ryan Babel (Liverpool), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Ajax), Danny Koevermans (PSV Eindhoven), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Arjen Robben (Real Madrid), Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (Celtic).
[AP / Expatica]